Wednesday Update – Great to see such keen interest in this subject which I first blogged on Sunday (see below). The comments and likes were made here on the blog and on the FB post. Thanks for your well- informed and strong feedback, support. I’ve been out on my bike again – and have this to report –

I had to donate blood in Takapuna yesterday, so set off on my bike from Devonport . En route I met more cars parked in the cycle lane while the drivers wrote texts and took phone calls. I tapped on the window and received an apologetic response from drivers. They said they weren’t aware it was a cycle lane, and moved on immediately. I was prepared to forgive them, as the cycle symbols on the cyclelane are sparce and faded.

I was less tolerant on my return, (maybe because I was now short of blood), and was compelled to take photos when I found the cycle lane blocked by an empty car parked with the tyre protruding slightly over the lane. With the speed and dense traffic in the vehicle lane I felt the car was quite an obstacle to pass safely. Admittedly it was parked in the stretch between Winscombe St and Williamson Ave which was resealed some months ago, and where there are still no cycle symbols. Interesting to note that the vehicle lane markings were reinstated immediately after the resealing,  but the cycle symbols don’t have the same priority.

IMG_0152

                                                                                                                                                                              Lake Rd cyclelane 4                                                                                 IMG_0153

I then came across a big SUV queued in the cycle lane at the Belmont lights- just before the cycle lane ended. Again, no cycle symbols, just a sign by the side of the road.

A CAA member emailed me yesterday to report the closest shave of his life recently while using the Devo- Taka cyclelane. A car turned across him as he rode downhill just after Belmont on his way to Devonport, by the Montgomery Ave corner. He had to brake on the hill to avoid a crash with the car turning across his bow into Montgomery Ave. His bike was damaged – he wasn’t – but is this acceptable for a cyclist to fear for their life when using the road in a law abiding manner on the North Shore’s busiest cycle route?

We’re preparing a Monkey Survey to learn more about the hazards of the Lake Rd cycle lane in its present condition to provide to AT to support my idea for lane protection. Watch out for it, and please help by sending it far and wide!

Sunday’s Blog item

This is a cheeky blog from me, as I am down the pecking order in Cycle Action’s infrastructure team.  Our infrastructure leader, Max, and others like Steve on the North Shore are far better qualified than I am, (a mere planner) to comment on quick fixes to raise the profile and speed of delivery of cycling safety works.

Despite this, I am compelled to share my thoughts from last Wednesday when I rode on the cyclelane from Devonport to do a few jobs in Takapuna.

I was frustrated to meet cars parked in the cyclelane, while their drivers were talking on their phones , (admirable on one count, but why penalise cyclists?) If I hadn’t been having such fun cycling, I would also have got wound up by the sad faded cycle symbols on the road. (The greening at intersections have recently been improved massively, but the cycle symbols are tired and far apart. )

As I rode I reflected on what a pleasure I have had this week working with NZTA and Fulton Hogan’s project managers on the temporary cycle lane for the Te Atatu NW cycleway diversion. Temporary protected cycle lane NW diversion Temporary protected cycle lane on NW diversion 1

I had rung Fulton’s project manager that morning to remind him to install the lane dividers he’d offered to prevent motorists from invading the cycle lane.

As I rode it occurred to me I’d like to put some of those lane protectors on the Lake Rd cyclelane. Fulton Hogan have taught me they are easy and quick to install. So why don’t we ask AT to do a quick fix pilot to put some along the length of the Lake Rd cyclelane?

After all, it’s the busiest cycle lane on the North Shore, used by the students from Takapuna Grammar and Belmont Intermediate, as well as people like me, riding to Takapuna. It’s also well used by cyclists commuting to the Devonport ferry and to a lesser extent, the Bayswater ferry.

Think about how handy it would be to upgrade the cycle lane with protectors as a pilot now, while the Devonport Ferry Terminal building and surrounding area are undergoing a major make-over which has closed a section of the park and ride. The perfect opportunity to encourage more people to try cycling!

I love the Devonport – Takapuna cyclelane, even though it is incomplete. But I know many people feel it is just a painted line on the road that leaves them vulnerable to being hit by passing fast vehicles or trucks, or means they can be blocked by car drivers who pull over to take phone calls.  These cautious cyclists would have more confidence to use it if they were protected by dividers like those shown in the photos, installed this week on Royal View Rd.

This little pilot could be done cheaply and quickly, delivering more cycling safety and transport choice, and help address the disruption while the ferry terminal is upgraded.

What about it – let’s do it!

Categories
Cycle lanes Cycling safety General News Infrastructure Lake Rd
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26 responses to “Update – Quick fix to improve cycling safety – pilot on Lake Rd

  1. One little thing to consider that we picked up in our trials in Chch (http://cyclingchristchurch.co.nz/2013/04/24/cycle-lane-separators-revisited/): The separator posts tend to make a standard cycle lane feel a bit narrow (in the same way that riding next to a fence/barrier does). So, if you have the space, it is preferable to do a little remedial work to widen the cycle lane first (or at least the pinch points); alternatively, you could place the posts OUTSIDE the cycle lane line.

    1. You are a wonderful source of information, thanks Glen. This link is really interesting – many thanks for passing it on.
      I’ll bring it to AT’s attention.

      1. The thing that really bugs me Barb is that Auckland Transport should already be absolutely familiar with this kind of data, not to mention being aware of best practice from the Netherlands, Copenhagen, Vancouver, NYC etc.

        1. They are. In fact, because they are so aware of what Glen is discussing, they note in their standards that a protected cycle lane needs (with buffer) to be ~ 2.1m wide (1.5m plus the posts in the middle of a 0.6m buffer). That covers the concern Glen noted, but of course that also makes it harder to find the space…

  2. Do it. If it means this small outlay gets more people riding then I’m all for it. Once numbers rise more then we can get serious about cycle tracks.

  3. it looks pretty narrow here, maybe get them repainted with a wider line beforehand, and place the posts near the outside of the slightly widened lane, even 20cm extra should make it feel nicer?

    1. The photos show the temporary cycle lane near the Te Atatu interchange where the NW Cycleway is being diverted until August. Hence if is a short term measure. It wouldn’t be suitable if it were to be permanent. I simply used the photo to demonstrate the lane dividers used for this job which were quick and easy to install.
      I’m sure there are other versions which Glen or Max could tell us about.

          1. It doesn’t need to as Auckland Transport will just buy a cycle lane cleaning vehicle.

      1. There are really no protected cycle lanes in Auckland yet that are really to current standard. Triangle Road eastbound is probably the best one, but that is too narrow to comply in places too.

  4. Personally I was a little disappointed that these barriers only went in on the Thursday after 3 days of cars driving over the cycle lane. All the initial talk of this work indicated this would have been part and parcel from day one.

    1. Vinny, you had reason to feel disappointed, and I apologise for that, as my blog on the Te Atatu diversion was written on the understanding the dividers were ready to go from the day of the diversion.
      It was a misunderstanding and a lesson to me. Given that, I was pleased they were installed within a couple of hours of my asking for this.

  5. A great idea, Barb, and one that comes from the heart as well reasoned logic.

    The Lake Rd cycle lanes were a major victory – I remember how hard it was to get them in, and then to retain them! But they are really only suited to confident commuter cyclists – the density and proximity of traffic on Lake Rd unnerves less experienced cyclists.

    I too have been frustrated by illegally parked cars, to the point that I sometimes stop and leave a friendly reminder note on the windscreen. One time I remonstrated with a driver who’d stopped to make a cell phone call. When he asked if I’d rather he carry on driving while talking and run down a cyclist, I suggested he merely turn in to a side street and take his call there,

    There’s certainly merit in the separator posts, particularly on corners where cars encroach on the cycle lane. Let’s put it to AT and see what they say. It would certainly improve the perception of safety.

    But let’s not forget the other things AT could do too – refresh the cycle markings and greening, but even more necessary is addressing continuity issues. The Bayswater intersection is still horrendous in both directions, and the link from Lake Rd down to Devonport is still unpleasant.

    So while Lake Rd is good – it could be made much better!

    1. I have to say that I really like the Bayswater intersection heading north, because it’s so sticky i.e. the parking and cars from Bayswater Ave mean that everyone slows down. Heading south gets the heart rate up a little more.
      But both ways are still too fast and probably too complicated for my 6 year old. The green route, however, is just too steep and tortuous for her, so is not a good option, whereas the Narrow Neck route is better but runs out at Takapuna Grammar.
      What all of this means is that the Lake Rd treatments by AT make the traffic too fast for a residential area. Seems like its time for a congestion charge along most of Lake Rd, rather than widening the road. If anything needs widening between Takapuna and Devonport it’s the footpaths and cycleways.
      Perhaps AT could do that during their routine maintenance, rather than preserving the status quo (for example AT could have hugely improved the Devonport roundabout for walking and cycling with the recent maintenance, rather than just resurfacing an asset that was already in good condition).

  6. I come across an illegally parked car on Lake Road fairly often. The best thing is to call AT parking on 09 355 3553 and report the vehicle, they are very nice and helpful. Get the licence plate, make and colour. If you are worried the owner might be aggressive if he/she sees you (never happened to me BTW), take down the deatils, move on and call from somewhere safe. I do like Steve’s idea of leaving a note as well. Along the lines of “I have reported you to the parking enforcement”.

    It usually takes about an hour for them to get someone there. Even if the person has moved on, at least it lets AT know there is an issue.

    Of course, this is not just for Lake Road.

    If the cars are never reported, people will think there is no enforcement and keep doing it.

    What I dont understand is why AT doesnt just paint yellow lines all the way down the cycle lanes in Auckland. It has put them on some parts but not others.

    1. Painting no parking lines is, I understand, done for all on road cycle lanes in Chch.

      1. “What I dont understand is why AT doesnt just paint yellow lines all the way down the cycle lanes in Auckland. It has put them on some parts but not others.”

        Legally they are not required – it is already illegal to park / stop in them. However, with Auckland drivers often giving a sh** about even formal no stopping markings, many of these annoying folks consider not having any markings to be a real invite. So sadly we need them.

        1. Yesterday, there were about 6 cars parked in teh cycle lanes outside the garden centre at 27 Lake Road. I rang up and reported them as it is a very unsafe situation.

          However, I do have some sympathy as the stencils have faded and no yellow lines. They may have thought they were parking lanes.

          Couldnt the cycle lane line just be done in yellow paint? Or is it a lot more expensive?

          1. Wouldn’t be legal. The colour is part of the road markings code, and someone could get out of a ticket by showing how the markings didn’t match the legal requirements…

          2. From what the Via Strada guys said, the ‘no parking’ dotted yellow lines work very well in conjunction with cycle lanes.

          3. Yes, I was only talking about changing the white edge line to yellow.

            As for NSAAT (the transport-nerd speak for broken yellow lines) – they are not legally needed in cycle lanes, but in practice…

  7. It’s a while since I cycled along lake Road @ Belmont but I remember the turn into King Edward Ave, now Bayswater Ave? was tricky and I used to do a detour through the service road to Williamson Ave. then cross directly over Lake Road to Bayswater.

    This problem is caused really by the outside lane being right or straight ahead despite the road being a continuous single lane elsewhere. A cyclist would need to be suicidal to sit at the head of the outside lane to turn right. This lane should be right turn only.

    The same applies heading north, both lanes allow through traffic which then starts fighting for the single lane opposite, …crazy. The left lane should be for Bayswater only. Cyclists are formally directed up the footpath which has about a 30% gradient compared with the road at about 10%. Heading south there is a wide lane plus a cycle lane on the down grade. Cyclists travel at vehicle speeds because of the grade so is the cycle lane required? If it were removed from Belmont to Roberts Ave this would free up space to mark a rideable cycle lane up the hill.

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